Tag Archives: holiday

DIY Healthy Holiday Gifts

9 Dec
Spicy Cashews, almonds and pumpkin seeds.

Spicy Cashews, almonds and pumpkin seeds.

Homemade gifts for family and friends make me smile–they are thoughtful, personal and unique. I love giving and receiving them! And who doesn’t like giving gifts? Here are some nourishing warm fuzzies to share with your loved ones this holiday. Hugs!

 1. Spicy Nuts Choose a variety of nuts and seeds, toast them in a skillet until lightly brown, then toss them with olive oil and your favorite spices. Add Golgi berries for a sweet kick or just keep it all spicy. Place them in a bag with a pretty bow or in a festive tin.

2. I Burned You a Mixed CD Oh, yes… this may bring you back to 1998, but it’s all good. Make a playlist of your favorite exercise songs and burn them onto a disc. 70 minutes of booty shakin’ good lovin’ right there!

 3. Turtle Smoothie in a Jar Instead of filling a mason jar with homemade chocolate chip cookie ingredients, fill the jar with 2 servings of your favorite protein powder, 3 Tbsp raw cocoa powder, and 1/4 cup raw pecans. All they have to do is add 4 Tbsp peanut, almond or sunflower seed butter, 12 oz almond milk, a banana and 12 oz ice. Tie a cute bow around the jar with the recipe attached. Makes 2 smoothies.

4. Couples Coupons Are these über cheesy? Yes. Are they completely awesome if you are the recipient? Heck yes! Design coupons and print them out on card stock. Fill in your own gifts of massage, foot rubs, cook their favorite healthy dinner, go on a walk, etc. Have fun and spoil your loved one!

5. Fruit and Vegetable Wash This is perfect for your veggie lover friends! Find a cute or fun spray bottle and fill it with 1 cup of water, 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp baking soda and juice of 1/2 lemon. As always, attach the recipe so they can refill it and use it time and time again.

6. Take the Chill Out Chili in a Jar Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like homemade warm and cozy soup! Use your favorite chili (or other signature soup) recipe and place all of the spices in a mason jar. Tie a bow around the jar with the recipe attached.

Recipes courtesy of Stephanie Bell

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GratitudiFULL: How To Dish A Big Ole’ Plate of Gratefulness this Thanksgiving

4 Nov
A perfect, healthful Thanksgiving dessert

A perfect, healthful Thanksgiving dessert (photo courtesy of Cooking Light)

Elastic-band wearers unite! It’s time to trade in the drawstrings for some fancy pants on this day of thanks. There are plenty of ways you can enjoy all of your favorites at Thanksgiving and still show your body (and everyone you love) gratitude.

1. Show Your Gratitude. Shout it out loud or jot it in a journal–just state all of the amazing things and people in your life that make you grateful each and every day. You might even get your whole family or your friends involved and state what you are thankful for at dinner every night. Respecting your body through exercise and healthy whole food is one of the best ways to show yourself AND your loved ones gratitude.

2. Save Yourself (not your calories)! The typical Thanksgiving meal is 2,000 calories—an entire day’s worth of calories! Most people decide they will starve themselves and “save” their calories for that one meal. The minute we start fasting, our metabolism slows down because it thinks a famine has hit. You are much better off eating breakfast, snacking every 3-4 hours and being mindful at the actual Thanksgiving meal. Start the day with an egg and veggie scramble and snack on fresh vegetables and almonds.

3. Dish Up Mindfulness. When stacking your plate with all that goodness, ask yourself, “Would I be hungry enough to eat this again in 3 hours?” If the answer is no, put some food back. If the answer is yes–hooray! You could also grab a normal-sized dinner plate and fill it like so…

  • Turkey: 1/3 of plate. Go easy on the gravy train.
  • Vegetables: 1/3-1/2 of your plate. Opt for veggies not covered in cheese or sauces.
  • Favorites: 1/4 to 1/3 of your plate can be reserved for stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, etc.

Want seconds? Remember dessert is still on the horizon… and Thanksgiving leftovers are oh-so-tasty!

4. Divide and Conquer. Our bodies can only utilize so many calories at once, which means the rest go to fat storage. Spread out all of this good lovin’ by taking a walk or playing yard games between your meal and dessert, waiting at least another hour before eating again. If weather doesn’t permit, engage the whole family in some Wii fitness, Twister, a dance contest or help scrub the dishes.

5. Double Trouble. If you have two (or more) Thanksgiving dinners to attend, alternate your favorites. (This is especially true if you are celebrating Hanukkah which lands on the same day as Thanksgiving this year.) In other words, enjoy Grandma Sally’s stuffing since she makes the best, but skip it at Aunt Edna’s where the pumpkin pie is divine.

6. Re-Invent the Menu. Replace sugar with stevia, coconut palm sugar or honey. Make crustless pumpkin pie in individual ramekins. Add in steamed cauliflower into the mashed potatoes. Keep vegetables sauce and cheese-free. Be creative and have fun!

7. Hydrate. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you are partaking in adult beverages or eating salty foods. Water also stimulates digestion and the release of toxins, so set a goal to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water each day—not just on holidays.

8. Get Physical (Olivia Newton-John style). Exercise helps reduce stress and increase energy. Squeeze activity into your day (and every day) as often as possible—rise early to lift weights, clean dishes between meals and suggest a family walk or activity before and after the feast (see #4).

Wishing you a lovely Thanksgiving that warms your tummy and soul!

~Steph